As first noted by Contrast founder David Barnard, Apple just slashed the affiliate commission on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac apps and In-App Purchases from the previous seven percent rate down to 2.5 percent globally.
“Beginning May 1, 2017, commissions for all apps and in-app content will be reduced from seven percent to 2.5 percent globally,” Apple told iTunes Affiliate Program members via email.
All other iTunes content types, including music, movies, electronic books and TV subscriptions, shall remain at the current seven percent commission rate in all markets.
“We will also continue to pay affiliate commissions on Apple Music memberships so there are many ways to earn commissions with the program,” reads Apple’s message.
Apple’s Affiliate Resources webpage has received a facelift with optimized navigation, a new Getting Started guide on becoming an affiliate partner, an updated Program Overview section providing information on the commission raters, reporting, creating links and more.
"Apple to cut affiliate commission on apps and in-app content to 2.5 percent" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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For 12 weekends in a row, Donald Trump has spent time at a Donald Trump-owned or managed property in what has to be a financial boon for the Trump family. Of course, everywhere Donald Trump goes, gaggles of Secret Service agents, staff and pool reporters follow—many or most of them staying at a Trump property, using taxpayer dollars, directly benefiting Donald Trump and his family. Paying members of these clubs regularly take to social media bragging about access to Trump and his offspring. And now, the official website of the U.S. Embassy & Consultants in the United Kingdom is featuring a glowing article on the “winter White House” that is a barely disguised advertisement:All aboard the Emoluments Clause Express
Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Florida estate, has become well known as the president frequently travels there to work or host foreign leaders.
The first meeting between Trump and President Xi Jinping of China will take place April 6–7 at Mar-a-Lago, which is located at the heart of Florida’s Palm Beach community.
Trump is not the first president to have access to Mar-a-Lago as a Florida retreat, but he is the first one to use it. By visiting this “winter White House,” Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer.
When socialite and cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post built Mar-a-Lago — Spanish for “Sea to Lake” — in 1927, she spared no expense. The 114-room mansion sits on 8 hectares of land, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and an inland waterway on the other.
Upon her death in 1973, she willed the estate to the U.S. government, intending it to be used as a winter White House for the U.S. president to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
- What you missed on Sunday Kos …
- If Trump in the White House can't stop Democratic circular firing squads, we really are finished, by Ian Reifowitz
- 'Our children are dying, every day,' by Susan Grigsby
- The YUGE job losses Trump is ignoring: Retail workers, by Sher Watts Spooner
- If progressives win locally, the national wins will follow, by Egberto Willies
- The activist's dilemma: Extreme protest tactics decrease support for movement, by David Akadjian
- On Trump can save ISIS now, by Jon Perr
- The future of science in America, by Mark E Andersen
- A white ally in the battle against Reconstruction white supremacy, by Denise Oliver Velez
- Montana: The (fossil) treasure state, by DarkSyde
- DNC, DCCC, DSCC: How to decipher the alphabet soup of Democratic party organizations, by David Jarman
- Ooh la la. (Note: Major eye-roll at “firebrand” and “global populist wave.”)
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right firebrand Marine Le Pen appeared positioned Sunday to move to the second round of the most tightly contested French presidential election in decades, in the latest test of a global populist wave that led to surprise electoral results in the United States and elsewhere.
- It’s about time:
New Orleans officials removed the first of four prominent Confederate monuments early Monday, the latest Southern institution to sever itself from symbols viewed by many as a representation racism and white supremacy.
The first memorial to come down was the Liberty Monument, an 1891 obelisk honoring the Crescent City White League. Workers arrived to begin removing the statue, which commemorates whites who tried to topple a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, around 1:25 a.m. in an attempt to avoid disruption from supporters who want the monuments to stay, some of whom city officials said have made death threats.
The workers inspecting the statue ahead of its removal could be seen wearing flak jackets and helmets.
- Not at all surprising:
Harassment, vandalism and other hostile acts against Jewish people and sites in the U.S. increased by 34 percent last year and are up 86 percent through the first three months of 2017, according to data released on Monday.
- In case you missed it:
President Donald Trump raised more than a few eyebrows during his first visit as president to Walter Reed National Medical Center on Saturday when he awarded the Purple Heart to Army Sergeant First Class Alvaro Barrientos.
"When I heard about this, I wanted to do it myself," Trump told Barrientos as he placed the Purple Heart on the soldier's lapel. "Congratulations … tremendous." [...]
This isn’t the first time the president has been criticized for remarks he made about the Purple Heart. During the campaign, a veteran gave the then-nominee his Purple heart.
"I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier," Trump said at the time.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up weekend news, the worst of the gobbledygook AP interview, the science march, and the search for self-reflection on 2016. As sexual harassment suits come in from all quarters, a reminder that the culture at Fox begins with Murdoch.x Embedded Content
ATHENS – The timing couldn’t have been worse. A group of open-carry advocates came to Athens last weekend to exercise their rights by sauntering around uptown with firearms slung over their shoulders and strapped to their hips.
OK. So it goes. This is well within the law. If somebody wants to play at Wyatt Earp and walk around with six-shooters on each hip for all the world to see, well, he can.
Personally, I think it’d be fun to do so with bandoliers criss-crossing the chest, Pancho Villa-style, the absurdity of the action thus nicely highlighted.
But here’s the thing: These open-carry advocates decided to make their statement during the Ohio University International Street Fest, a wonderful annual celebration of the cultures of the globe.
The International Street Fest caps off International Week at Ohio University. Celebrated since 1979, the festival brings together OU student organizations and community members to celebrate global diversity on Court Street.
Organizations set up booths with cultural displays, free interactive cultural activities for kids, and food from around the world. Court Street smells amazing, with exotic grilled goods at every turn. Onstage, international dancers celebrate their cultures. Musicians treat attendees to a wide variety of displays of international heritage.
From The Athens NEWS:
A small group of pro-gun Ohioans staged an “open-carry/firearm education walk” through uptown Athens early Saturday afternoon at the same time and general location as the annual International Street Fair.
While news of the planned walk sparked substantial anger and consternation on social media Friday evening and Saturday morning, the visibly armed open-carry group, with five armed participants (and one pulling a wagon containing two children), walked through the crowded Street Fair with minimal incident and no reported disruptions or counter-protests.
As far as it goes, I saw no confrontation and only conversation. But what I felt watching this handful of open-carry advocates meander about at the International Street Fest was embarrassment.
Here we had a wide cross-section of international people celebrating their diversity, showing off their food, showing off their wares, showing off their dancing, showing off their music.
And in what way was America represented? Five middle-age white guys showing off their guns.
In a way, it’s fitting. American culture tends toward an inexplicable fascination with weaponry and militarism, most especially among thick-necked, pot-bellied, red-faced, over-the-hill, suburban dad types. It’s the American version of the Colonel Blimp character – BarcaLounger Blimps, let’s say.
And these guys couldn’t have been more of a cliché if they tried: Cowboy hat, khaki shorts, polo shirt, white tube socks pulled halfway up to their knees, and a bullpup rifle slung over the shoulder, handgun on the hip. They wore orange “Guns Save Lives” stickers. One guy was wearing a bucket hat, suspenders, and a button-down with American flags all over it.
Obviously, this being the case, they don’t cut a particularly intimidating image. They put one in mind of that dorky uncle we all have who also happens to love guns.
It did make me think, though, about how that dorky-suburbanite image saves their lives from death-by-cop.
Ohio is an open-carry state, but that didn’t save the life of John Crawford III when he was carrying a pellet rifle he got from the shelf at Walmart in Beavercreek. It didn’t save Tamir Rice, with his Airsoft BB gun at the Cudell rec. center in Cleveland.
It made me wonder how people might react if Black Lives Matter protestors exercised their Second Amendment rights to open-carry in Ohio during demonstrations. It made me remember that many gun-control laws were put in place because the Black Panthers tried exactly that.
I’m an avid target-shooting enthusiast. And as an American history buff, when I was a kid, I loved to play at Old West. So it’s not lost on me that Dodge City circa 1870 had more stringent open-carry laws than Ohio does in 2017.
But somehow I’ve never much cared for the idea of walking around openly strapped, even with double cross-draw holsters like Doc Holiday.
So as I sat there last weekend, enjoying a döner kebab sandwich, considering the beauty of the Persian folk dance, I watched these open-carry advocates stroll by and I didn’t feel anger and I didn’t object.
I just felt sad and embarrassed, because amongst this wonderful celebration of international diversity these gun advocates truly did represent a certain element of American culture with distressing accuracy.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.
The reviews are in: everybody hates Dolt 45’s plan for a wall on the border with Mexico.
If you get a chance, give your reps a call and tell them to vote against funding this wasteful piece of shit.
Here's some interesting polling news. However, the interesting part isn't immediately obvious. First up is the Kaiser tracking poll, which asks if people have a favorable or unfavorable view of Obamacare:
Got it? Now here is today's PPP poll, which asks if people support or oppose Obamacare:
Kaiser and PPP agree precisely on support for Obamacare: it's at 47 percent. But they produce way different results on opposition: Kaiser has it at 46 percent and PPP has it at 31 percent. The difference is that PPP shows a large number of people who aren't sure.
Why? Is this the difference between "view unfavorably" and "oppose"? Or a difference between Kaiser and PPP? It's too big to be a mere statistical blip.
The most obvious interpretation is that there are lots of people who have unfavorable views of Obamacare but don't outright oppose it. If that's true, it seems like a pretty obvious opportunity for Democrats.
When it comes to investigating the Trump-Russia connection, the House Intelligence Committee has been successfully driven into the weeds by Devin Nunes. The Senate Intelligence Committee has been slowed to a stop by Richard Burr.
While an investigation continues within the FBI, there are reasons for people at both ends of the political spectrum to worry about the efficacy of that agency. And besides, the investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s government is easily the most important political issue since Watergate. In fact, this is the most important political issue in a century—including Watergate. The public deserves to feel that this matter has been investigated both thoroughly and openly, in a way that resolves loose ends and doesn’t leave the impression that the outcome was either foregone or arbitrary.
For that to happen, there is only one avenue remaining.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they want an independent, non-partisan commission instead of Congress to investigate Russia's involvement in the 2016 election, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
A majority of Americans want the congressional investigation to continue, but an overwhelming majority feels that the congressional investigation is not enough on its own. Why an independent commission?
A combined 61 percent of Americans say they have little to no confidence in Congress conducting a fair and impartial investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 election.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Popular vote loser Donald Trump claimed last week that his mass deportation dragnet is “not after the Dreamers,” but “after the criminals” and those bad hombres. Department of Homeland Security Sec. John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions also tried to offer similar reassurances, but it’s really best to just file every single one of their claims under “bullshit.” Just ask Juan Manuel Montes, a Dreamer who was arrested by immigration officials despite having valid DACA status and deported to Mexico three hours later:
Montes’ situation came to light Tuesday when he sued the Trump administration in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego. The civil suit alleges that he had been wrongly deported to Mexico by officials who refused to tell him why.
The suit claims the government is in violation of the Freedom of Information Act because no records have been released on Montes’ case, despite numerous requests, which is a violation of the statute. It asks the court to order the government to release those records.
“Under Trump, ICE has already arrested several beneficiaries of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” notes Roque Planas. During his arrest, Juan was not allowed to retrieve his DACA card from a vehicle, with federal officials later trying to save their butts by lying and claiming it had expired. They were forced to walk back the claim after USA Today publicly verified it didn’t expire until 2018. The truth is that immigration officials have been unmercifully targeting Dreamers for arrest, which is why so many are not one bit reassured by Trump’s claim that they are safe from his grasp.
The struggle is real for prospective 2018 GOP candidates: Should they or shouldn't they jump in?
With a commander in chief who's as predictable as an untethered balloon in a tornado touting a list of legislative accomplishments as short as his stubby thumbs, many would-be GOP candidates are strongly weighing becoming 2018 won't bes.
For instance, former Florida Rep. David Jolly won a 2014 special election, lost in 2016, and is having heartburn over whether to take a stab at reclaiming his seat in 2018. Jolly said watching the GA-06 special election where Democrat Jon Ossoff will be facing Republican Karen Handel in June has been instructive. Alex Isenstadt of Politico writes:
“Ossoff simply has to speak to the president's failure, while Republicans have to wrestle with whether and how to defend Trump's historically low approval ratings and how closely to align with a president who at any moment could undermine Handel's entire messaging strategy with an indefensible tweet or an outright lie.”
Jolly, who lost reelection in 2016 and is considering running again, said he and other would-be GOP midterm contenders are struggling to take measure of what they’d be getting themselves into. The election is bound to be a referendum on Trump’s first two years. Two Republicans, Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy and Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks, recently announced they will be forgoing Senate runs.
"If you're a prospective candidate, boy, it's tough," Jolly said.
That's the exact ambivalence that not only has Paul Ryan but also Mitch McConnell fretting over the upcoming midterms.
Democrats will need about two dozen pickups to retake the House in 2018; they need only three pickups to flip the Senate, though they'll be defending 25 seats (including those of two independents who caucus with them) to only nine seats for the GOP.
House Democrats have been constrained by being a distinct minority since November 2010. But popular vote loser Donald Trump and his disastrous poll numbers, as well as the total dysfunction in the fractious Republican party is giving them both hope and the drive to follow the lead of the people and resist.
House Democrats are ready to flex their muscles, providing a list of demands Republicans must meet if they want Democratic votes to keep the government running beyond Friday. And they could be key players on tax reform and infrastructure in the coming months, if Trump ends up needing bipartisan buy-in.
“It’s a great time to be a Democrat,” said Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, warning Republicans that even if they do achieve some of their biggest goals—like dismantling Obamacare—they will pay at the polls.
“We know we’re going to lose some battles between now and 2018, but every one of those losses costs the other side votes,” he said. […]
In the immediate future, House Democrats have significant leverage in ongoing talks to keep the government open beyond the April 28 deadline.
With hard-line conservatives frequently opposed to spending bills, Republican leaders will likely need a number of Democratic votes to avoid a government shutdown. And [Democratic leader Nancy] Pelosi is nothing if not an expert vote counter.
The energy of the people—we saw it again this weekend in the nationwide March for Science—is certainly helping strengthen their backbone. That's not just showing up in the streets in these huge marches and protests, but also in public polling, where there's a massive enthusiasm gap in favor of Democrats, as shown in a survey from Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, Priorities USA conducted at the beginning of April.
Finally, a story that combines my love of pets with my hatred of Mark Halperin:
So it was the 10:45 red eye on delta. in first class the seating arrangement was A-BC-D seating. I had purchased 6A and 6B and Halperin was in 6C. The dog and I fly back and forth from California to NY 2–3 times a month. I am always aware to make sure to get the dog her own seat (she lays on the floor and sleeps) to ensure she doesn’t encroach anyone’s personal space. So I put Charlie (the dog) in 6A where she was great. She was in arms reach and everything was cool. Right before we took off the dog came and sat in between my legs for take off so she was secured. At this point halperin (I had no idea who he was) calls for a flight attendant and tells her that he refuses to sit next to a dog. Those were his exact words. At that point I noticed he took a picture of the dog which I just ignored. Next thing you know the lead flight attendant asked if I minded giving halperin 6A. It was so strange he wouldn’t even look or speak to me about it. If he would have asked me I would have obliged, no big deal. I couldn’t believe how rude this guy was carrying on as I sat right next to him. So I obliged, he moved into 6A and left his shoes and a mess in his little first class cubicle area. I politely brought him his shoes and belongings to which he literally looked the other way and that was that. I then woke up this morning to a friend sending me the article and was in shock reading his tweets. Mind you Delta did absolutely nothing wrong, the flight attendant were extremely accommodating to his wishes all while trying to make sure I wasn’t upset in any way. They handled the situation kindly and professionally.
A growing list of Instagram users have taken to Twitter and elsewhere online this afternoon to report an outage that has left most of the app’s functions and webpages online inaccessible. Instagram has yet to offer official details on the outage.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Trump brand in the toilet, where it belongs. Hard to muster much sympathy for Princess Ivanka though.
NEW YORK, United States — At American discount retailer Stein Mart, Ivanka Trump apparel is being sold under the guise of a different label. BoF has learned that the Jacksonville, Florida-based chain — which has 290 stores in 31 states, everywhere from Little Rock, Arkansas to Madison, Wisconsin — is selling Ivanka Trump garments relabeled as Adrienne Vittadini Studio.
G-III, the company that owns the right to manufacture and distribute Ivanka Trump apparel through a license agreement — and also owns brands including DKNY outright — acknowledges that it sold the relabelled merchandise to Stein Mart without the knowledge of the Ivanka Trump brand. It is not known whether this inventory was also sold to other retailers.
“G-III accepts responsibility for resolving this issue, which occurred without the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organisation,” a representative for G-III said in a statement to BoF. “G-III has already begun to take corrective actions, including facilitating the immediate removal of any mistakenly labelled merchandise from its customer. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to grow and remains very strong.”
NFL Draft: For years Mitchell Trubisky's goal has been to end Browns' QB curse, and he just might get that chance
Mitchell Trubisky thought he deserved to be North Carolina’s starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman in 2014 but was told Marquise Williams would be the full-time starter. So quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf sat down Trubisky to discuss the future.
Many of you only read this blog on weekdays. That's OK. I understand that my random musings may be better than filling out yet another TPS report but not as good as doing actual fun stuff. However, sometimes this means you miss some good posts.
For example: James Comey. On Saturday, in a very long post, I made the case that Comey was the decisive factor in Hillary Clinton's loss, not Clinton herself or her campign. You should read it! And this too.
Right after I wrote that, the New York Times published a detailed story about why Comey did what he did. My take on the Times piece was simple: "At every step of the way, Comey demonstrated either his fear of crossing Republicans or his concern over protecting his own reputation from Republican attack." You should read this too!
Today, to wrap things up, I want to highlight a couple of additional points. Several people suggested that although Comey screwed up, I should have also mentioned the role the press played in this. I don't want to relitigate the entire campaign, but Nate Silver makes a pithy point about how the press handled the Comey letter:
From the time Comey's letter went public to the time he (once again) exonerated Hillary Clinton, Clinton's emails were the top news story in 12 out of 14 news cycles even though there was zero evidence that the emails were either new or incriminating or interesting in any way. Even after years of being taken for a ride on this stuff, the press just couldn't get enough. All you had to do was breathe something about new emails and they went nuts.
Second, Mike Tomasky makes a point about Comey that I only touched on because my posts were already so long. Here it is:
Fear of political fallout seems to have motivated almost everything he did. Kevin Drum made this point over the weekend. But Drum didn’t emphasize what is to me the most telling thing, which is that there is one group Comey appears not to have feared at all: Democrats.
....The Times talked to 30 people, and apparently the idea that Comey may have feared how the Democrats would react to any action of his just wasn’t brought up. Amazing. Remember what the guy did: He excoriated Clinton’s ethics; he announced a reopening of an investigation 11 days before the election with no evidence that there was any reason to think Anthony Weiner’s laptop would revealing a smoking gun (it did not, as Comey subsequently announced); and finally, he kept from the public the fact that his bureau was also investigating the other presidential candidate.
And through it all, he was worried about what Republicans would do to him, but apparently never concerned about how Democrats would react to anything he did.
I spent a lot of time mocking the Republican Benghazi obsession, but this is where it paid off. After four years of this stuff, of course Comey was afraid he'd be the target of endless hearings if Clinton won and it later turned out there was something in the emails. But if Trump won and there was nothing in the emails? People like me would write some critical blog posts. Democrats here and there would mutter about Comey interfering in the election. But that would be it. Republicans had a well-developed reputation as ravening pit bulls. Democrats had a well-developed reputation as occasionally irritable poodles. Everybody wrings their hands over this, but it worked out pretty well for Republicans, didn't it?